Women who have at least one cup of coffee or even five cups daily may be reducing their risk of stroke by as much as 25 percent, new Swedish research shows. And women who don’t drink coffee at all may actually be increasing their risk for stroke.
However, the researchers added, these findings are preliminary and should not cause any change in coffee-drinking habits.
Results showed that consumption of 1 to 5 cups of coffee per day is associated with a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared with consumption of less than 1 cup a day.
For the study, the researchers’ team collected data on 34,670 women, aged 49 to 83, who took part in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, which looked for associations between diet, lifestyle and disease.
Between 1998 and 2008, 1,680 women had a stroke. But the researchers found that coffee drinkers had a 22 percent to 25 percent lowered risk.
Women who reported drinking 1-2 cups a day, 3-4 cups a day or 5 or more cups had similar benefits, compared with women who drank less than a cup of coffee, the researchers found. The results remained unchanged even after taking into account smoking, weight, diabetes, high blood pressure or drinking, they added.
A link between regular coffee drinking and reduced risk of stroke in a general population was reported by British researchers last year at the American Stroke Association’s annual stroke conference. A University of Cambridge study of 23,000 men and women who were followed for an average of 12 years found that those who reported any intake of coffee had a 27 percent lower risk of stroke than those who said they never drank java.
More research last year showed that drinking coffee or tea in moderation reduces the risk of developing heart disease.
The study is published in the March 10 issue of Stroke magazine. The study is restricted to a Scandinavian population, and it is not clear, even if there is a relationship, that it would be present in more diverse populations.